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  • Image for The Sunday Papers

    Sundays are for watching The Undertaker throw Mankind off the top of the Hell In A Cell. Before you wince, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

  • A screenshot of Turbo Golf Racing, showing a car on a floating green golf course racing towards a giant ball.

    Honestly, given Rocket League's prodigious success, it's a surprise more games haven't attempted to follow in its car tracks. Announced this week, Turbo Golf Racing looks to change that. It's a multiplayer game about driving a car into a ball, but as the name suggests it's drawing inspiration from those ruined good walks rather than from football.

  • A screenshot of Skyblivion, a mod project bringing Oblivion to Skyrim, showing an NPC bowing their head at a statue in a snowy northern town.

    Skyblivion has been in development for ten years and still isn't done, but work continues on the mod project remaking Oblivion inside Skyrim. The latest video is impressive, too, taking a 15 minute tour of areas, enemies, weapons and more that have been rebuilt, while outlining the work still to be done. Watch it below.

  • An image from the Bloodborne Kart trailer showing the protagonist walking towards their bike, posed like the Akira poster.

    To my mind the original PlayStation never had a good kart racer, but that might change sometime in the future - sort of. The developer of the recent Bloodborne PSX demake has announced their next project and yep, it's Bloodborne Kart. There's a teaser trailer below.

  • Image for New lawsuit alleges harassment and retaliation at Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard are facing a new lawsuit this week from an employee who alleges that the company has a "frat boy" culture, including excessive drinking and sexual advances made by supervisors. The employee, named as "Jane Doe" in the lawsuit, also alleges that she had to accept a lower paid job within the company to escape the sexism, and that she was passed over for better roles after she complained.

  • Image for What are we all playing this weekend?

    I'll be honest, reader, In about 12 hours from writing this I'll be getting up to catch a flight - indeed, as you read it, I'll be in the air - and there is still so much to do that I kind of resent you making me type this right now. Last night I had to borrow a hoover from a neighbour I've never spoken to before, because we need to clean our flat before we leave this hell-country forever, but realised too late that we have now sent our own hoover via international shipping. What fresh hell. I will not have time for any games this weekend, nor, conceivably, the emotion of joy ever again. How dare you even make me consider what games I might have been playing instead?

  • Image for Best gaming monitors: the top 144Hz, 240Hz and 4K HDR displays

    Feature: Best gaming monitors: the top 144Hz, 240Hz and 4K HDR displays

    All the best monitors for gaming, including budget, HDR and ultrawide displays

    Choosing the wrong monitor can be the ultimate bottleneck on your PC, without there being a single thing wrong with the system itself. Too low a refresh rate, and you won’t get the frame rate your hardware is capable of. Too low a contrast ratio, with rubbish colour performance, and your favourite games will look drab and flat. The best gaming monitors are the opposite: they’ll enable your PC, not stifle it, to ensure whatever you’re playing will always look its best.

  • Image for Distant Worlds 2 review: a troubled but brilliant 4X that sets its own terms

    Do you ever find yourself explaining how best to approach a game, but still failing to take that approach yourself, and getting frustrated with it?

    After spending far, far too long trying to obsessively control every detail of Distant Worlds 2, I've accepted that I need to take my own advice and work with its macromanagement systems instead. They are, after all, the reason its ludicrous scale is workable at all beyond the opening hours, and a major reason its predecessor was so interesting and forward-thinking to begin with. But they are also a source of great friction and confusion, especially if you don't take the time to learn how they actually work.

    Distant Worlds 2 is, ultimately, a game that you need to meet in the middle. Consequently, it's one that I can only partially recommend. But I really do recommend it for that part.

  • AI Sherlock and Moriarty stand back to back with the logo to their side

    Konami announced yesterday at the Future Games Show that Crimesight will be coming out April 14th. It looks like a combination of Cluedo, Sherlock Holmes, and what I think are evil artificial intelligence anime spirits. Crimesight only allows up to four players, but you’ll be exploring a snowed-in cottage as you try to either work out who the murderer is, or help them win. You can take a look at the trailer below.

  • A photo of the Acer Nitro XV273K on a desk behind a mouse and keyboard

    Feature: The best 4K gaming monitors

    The top 4K displays for all budgets

    There’s no getting round it: you’ll need a pretty beefy GPU (and at least a halfway decent CPU) if you’re upgrading to one of the best 4K gaming monitors. The jump from 1440p to 4K represents a huge rise in the number of pixels that need pushing, but when your PC can handle the strain, hoo boy, is it a sight to see. A higher resolution means sharper games, with finer detail reproduction and a natural resistance to jaggy aliasing.

  • The Cub runs along a giant truck while surrounded by smoke and a bunch of rocks

    The Cub is a post-apocalyptic platformer inspired by Jungle Book

    The next game from the Golf Club Wasteland devs

    The studio behind post-apocalyptic golfer Golf Club Wasteland announced their next game at the Future Games Show last night, a post-apocalyptic parkour platformer called The Cub. I have a soft spot for cinematic platformers, which stems entirely from how fluid the animations can be in those games - and you better believe The Cub has fluid animations. Here's the trailer for it:

  • Tunic artwork showing a cute fox raising its sword in a forest scene

    Supporters only: The curse of the early game demo

    Tunic's journey from zero to hero in the space of a weekend

    Ever since the very first trailer for Tunic appeared all the way back in 2017, my Zelda senses have been a-tingling. I'm always up for a good Zelda-like, and everything I saw of Tunic back then seemed to confirm that this was 100% a game I would like and enjoy.

    You can probably imagine my excitement, then, when Microsoft announced there would finally be a playable demo to people download during last year's E3. However, as I briefly mentioned in my post about Tunic's brilliant in-game instruction manual yesterday, I actually came away from that demo a bit disheartened. With just a single (and quite unforgiving) dungeon to explore, I was left thinking it hewed a bit too close to the Soulsian school of combat difficulty than I'd like. Upon playing the final game, however... Delight! Magic! Joy! I actually can't get enough of it. To think I almost dismissed what's now one of my early game of the year contenders on the basis of that one 20 minute demo now seems incredibly hasty on my part, but with so many games now being shoved down our throats on a daily basis, those first impressions can somtimes be devastatingly powerful.

  • Image for Buggos celebrates the hive, devours idiot humans

    Super light strategy games aren't exactly uncommon, but it's still a treat to come across one that gets the levels of effort and complexity right. Buggos is about driving your endless swarm of alien insects to spread across a newfound planet and wipe out the gross humans standing in the way.

    There's very little stress and no need for detailed schemes, reflexes, or micromanaged tactics. As long as there is food, more buggos will come, and as long as there are buggos, they will loosely move in the direction you command, dying in droves but succeeding in aggregate. It's a good time that asks for little but a point to attack and a desire to consume everything in your path. I'm actually surprised at how much I want to keep playing it.

  • A little Lego man walks down a Lego island looking delighted with himself

    I felt my inner-child squeal out when Lego Bricktales was announced during last night’s Future Games Show. They took my favourite part of Lego, building stuff, and turned the whole thing into a physics-based puzzle game, where you build creations to solve problems.

    The premise is your grandfather, who just happens to own an amusement park, needs your help getting all the health and safety requirements above board. Because of some complicated Lego lore reasons, the only way to save the park is by helping people all around the world. How do you do that? By building increasingly complex contraptions of course. You can check out the trailer below:

  • Captain Price hover in a helicopter with a PPSh in hand in Call of Duty: Warzone

    Microsoft says they won’t block the result of Activision Blizzard’s unionisation efforts

    Fifteen Raven Software workers signed a letter on Wednesday asking for support

    This past Wednesday, fifteen Raven Software workers signed a letter asking the current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to encourage Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognise their union, Game Workers Alliance. Microsoft’s corporate vice president and general counsel Lisa Tanzi responded to the letter with a statement to The Washington Post: “Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions.”

  • A Steam Deck showing the Ghostwire: Tokyo main menu.

    I’ve spent the past three days trying to get Ghostwire: Tokyo running on the Steam Deck, and have been thwarted every time by an impassable black screen that appears immediately after the opening cutscene: a failure of the next cutscene to roll correctly. Despite a possible fix being available, this has yet to work for me either, and now that the game has fully released it seems I’m not alone in my suffering.

  • A screenshot of the Box Office Game, a Wordle-like about identifying five movies from their box office takings in a single weekend.

    Can you identify the the top five grossing films in America for the weekend of October 25th 2013, based only on their distributor and revenue? Probably not, I'd wager. Thankfully the Box Office Game, a new browser-based Wordle-like, lets you trade points for further clues: the first billed actor, the director, the tagline, and so on.

    In doing so, it becomes a more broadly accessible movie guessing game than Framed, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

  • A screenshot of Deliver Us Mars.

    2019's Deliver Us The Moon was set in a future where Earth was dependent on its grey satellite for energy, and you were sent to the Moon to discover who'd unplugged the juice. There's now a sequel on the way. Deliver Us Mars takes place ten years after the events of the original, but should offer similar third-person sci-fi storytelling - only now with seemingly higher production values, and a red planet to explore.

  • University buildings in a Two Point Campus screenshot.

    Liveblog: All the news from the Future Games Show

    If there's not news this will just be snark

    Welcome to 2001's hottest web technology: liveblogging! Rather than watch this evening's Future Games Show spring showcase and then write several posts about the games of note therein (1-3, max), we thought we'd open a liveblog and parp little text farts amiably throughout the show. You can join in with your own parps! Let's see if we harmonise.

  • I hold up a hand of cards in Inscryption.

    Inscryption wins the IGF Grand Prize and GDC Game Of The Year Award 2022

    It's the first game ever to win both prizes in the same year

    Last night, RPS' Bestest Best game of 2021 Inscryption won the Seumus McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival Awards, confirming that once again, we are correct about everything. If that wasn't enough, though, an hour later, Inscryption then won the Game Of The Year award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. It's the first time a game has ever won both awards in the same year, which is a stonking achievement. Clearly, our Advent Calendar made some pretty big waves this year. Just saying.

  • Malekith, the Black Blade, one of the last required bosses in Elden Ring

    Look, Elden Ring can be really tough, as all FromSoftware games are, and you will almost certainly get stomped at least a hundred if not hundreds of times during your journey in the Lands Between. However, all this attention on playing up the difficulty, as usually is the case once we get into The Discourse, detracts from the fact that the game can also be hilariously easy.

  • A faceless character sits on the back of a truck while telling me about my mother in NORCO

    If you like gorgeous decaying cities as much as I do, boy do I have the game for you. Norco is out now, taking you on a point & click journey to experience the Southern Gothic world that Geography Of Robots have created.

    Norco takes place in a surreal sci-fi version of near-future greater New Orleans, while echoing the Southern Gothic literary style as much as something like Kentucky Route Zero does. It goes as far as to get its name from the actual real-life town of Norco. You can check out the trailer below:

  • Image for The Electronic Wireless Show episode 179: the best guh-guh-guh-ghosts in games special

    This week, in a move perhaps more suited to an October special episode, the Electronic Wireless Show podcast is here to put the spook 'ems right up you and talk about the best ghosts in games. This is in honour of Ghostwire: Tokyo, a game that Matthew played and reviewed for us, and one that has loads of bloody ghosts in it.

    No update on Henry Cavill this week, but we talk a bit about Matthew's cursed trip to DisneyLand Paris, ways that Ghostbusters could take on a very different tone, and, once again, inject some serial killer energy into the podcast. Nate delivers a fun Cavern Of Lies where we have to guess which of the plots of terrible ghost games are made up. And for some reason I've written 'The Count of Monster Disco' in my notes. The reason escapes me. But it was probably funny.

  • An Elden Ring character in a dramatic pose as they strike at a hulking boss with their sword.

    Elden Ring's new patch mainly targets hackers, couple more fixes too

    Removes the bug where you could be stuck dying in a loop

    Update 1.03.2 for Elden Ring dropped yesterday with a focus on removing several bugs, with the patch notes saying they had "fixed a bug in multiplayer that allowed players to teleport others to incorrect map coordinates." Oh, but, teleporting me to the right map coordinates is fine, huh FromSoftware?!

    There's already several creative ways to bother people online while playing Elden Ring, but as Ed points out, cosplaying Thanos was one of the more destructive ways. There was an exploit that hackers could use where they could teleport you to a void, trap you in an infinite death loop, and completely torpedo your save.

  • The fox from Tunic next to Link from Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link

    As several members of the RPS Treehouse can attest, I have not been able to stop playing Tunic this week. I was a little cautious going in, having not particularly gelled with the E3 demo from last year, but in hindsight, that early glimpse was nothing but the tip of a tiny fox nose peeking out of its burrow. In its full, regal splendour, Tunic has become an early game of the contender for me, and a large part of that is down to its wonderfully clever in-game instruction manual.

    When Imogen (RPS in peace) interviewed Tunic dev Andrew Shouldice last September, they talked about how instruction manuals were a fundamental part of a game's design back in the days of the NES, and at one point he even pulled out his old instruction booklet for Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link to demonstrate some of the "tantalising hints" they'd offer to curious players. As Brendan (also RPS in peace) noted in our Tunic review, the in-game manual is indeed a critical part of what makes Tunic special, and the act of piecing it together page by page really does capture that feeling of discovering some great secret that only you and the dev team know about. But here's a secret between you and me: it's not by chance Shouldice pulled out that old Zelda II manual during our interview last year. His fox hero may be cut from the same cloth as Nintendo's green sword-swinger, but the art inside Tunic's instruction manual also pays a wonderful tribute to those Zelda booklets of yore, too.

  • A screenshot from a cinematic trailer for Elden Ring, depicting General Radahn standing in a battlefield brandishing his dual greatswords.

    The 12 hardest bosses in Elden Ring

    We rank the nastiest encounters in the Lands Between

    I’ve spent over 40 hours with Elden Ring and I’m still not very good at it. At this stage I’m less of a worthy Tarnished warrior on their way to be crowned the Elden Lord and instead more of a Mr. Bean type, accidentally succeeding through sheer incompetence alone. I can’t explain it, but my method of defeating Godrick had the same energy as Bean making a sandwich, in that I think the game eventually just took pity on me and let me win the fight to save me any further embarrasment.

    I’m coming to terms with the fact I may never finish Elden Ring. I'm only in the second proper area, but I'm finding encounters to require a level of patience I simply don't possess. Its boss fights are simply too hard. But if I’m struggling this much at such an early stage, what else could Elden Ring possibly have to offer? What types of monstrosities lurk in the farthest reaches of the Lands Between, and how difficult are they to defeat? Spoilers, naturally, below.

  • A cloaked warrior looks up at a large monster on top of a cliff in Elden Ring

    I think "platformer" and my next thought is "slick". Hollow Knight springs to mind, as does Ori, as does Celeste. They all have precise and snappy movement, with upgrades and new abilities that add complexity without stodge. As for 3D platformers, Super Mario 64 remains a glowing example of how movement makes exploration joyful. String together rolls and jumps and you're not just navigating a world, but bounding through it like a gymnast (who's also a part time plumber to help pay the costs of serious competition).

    Elden Ring is a terrible platformer. It's stiff and awkward and less gymnast, more Gimli on the Buckfast. But this is what makes its platforming sections good. They force you to embrace your limited toolset and channel your amateur longjumping, golfing, and climbing skills you definitely don't have.

  • A comparison image showing how FSR 2.0 looks next to native 4K in Deathloop.

    AMD FSR 2.0 is a more demanding, higher-quality upscaling upgrade

    How AMD’s performance-boosting tech is getting smarter and sharper

    AMD have revealed more about FSR 2.0, the major overhaul of its FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling tech, after a detail-light announcement last week. FSR 2.0 will represent a switch from simple spatial upscaling to more closely match the advanced temporal upscaling techniques of its rival, Nvidia DLSS – and while it won’t use DLSS-style machine learning, AMD say the trick to FSR 2.0’s improved performance is down to some good-old-fashioned human brainpower.